Creative’s Zen Vision:M green with Apple iPod envy

“What’s black, white and green with iPod envy? The Zen Vision:M, a familiar-looking video player announced by Creative Technology. The similarly styled and priced device will compete directly with Apple Computer’s video iPod for a spot on every technophile’s holiday wish list. Creative plans to put the Vision:M up for sale this month, and with less than three weeks left in the shopping season, that makes the device a tough sell. ‘They’re extremely late,’ says Tim Bajarin, analyst with market research firm Creative Strategies, which is unaffiliated with Creative. ‘In this stage of the game, I’m skeptical this product will give them enough revenue to impact the bottom line for their next quarter… Though Creative is a worthy competitor, I think Vision:M will have zero impact on Apple,'” Rachel Rosmarin reports for Forbes.

Rosmarin reports, “Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo denied that his company copied the device’s design from Apple, telling the BBC in London that Creative had been planning the new player’s design for more than a year. Apple’s video iPod has been on the market for only two months. Hoo has a history of making loud claims about competing with Apple in the MP3-player space. In August, Creative won a U.S. patent for an MP3-player interface involving the way multiple screens are used to navigate through songs. Hoo told the BBC that he plans to pursue this patent aggressively. In November 2004, he famously announced that his company’s products would outsell Apple’s with the help of an expensive marketing campaign. ‘He’s a colorful guy,’ says Bajarin about Hoo. ‘But since what he says sometimes doesn’t happen, it impacts our ability to see him as truly credible.'”

Full article here.
Sim Wong Hoo, Rob Glaser, and Steve Balmer ought to start up their own carnival freak show of tech CEOs. They could make grand pronouncements, dance and sweat, light up lightbulbs in their mouths, have a chair tossing for distance event, stage competitive eating contests, play frisbee golf with Sony’s recalled Rootkit CDs, fashion Apple product knockoffs right on stage, scream obscenities, rally the crowd for “interoperability,” start imaginary wars – there are so many possibilities! Tickets to the show would be the only product they could muster up between the three of them for which we’d pay a cent. They could videotape it and sell it on Apple’s iTunes Music Store. At least then they’d finally have a hit in the digital content marketplace.

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Related articles:
Apple faces prospect of bruising iPod patent dispute from Creative Technology – December 09, 2005
Creative Technology’s official press relase for Zen Vision:M Apple iPod knockoff – December 08, 2005
Creative’s Sim Wong Hoo vows to ‘aggressively pursue’ Apple over iPod patent – December 08, 2005
Creative announces 30GB Zen Vision:M video-enabled ‘iPod killer’ – December 07, 2005
Beleaguered Creative waves white flag, surrenders self-declared MP3 player war to Apple iPod – November 07, 2005
Beleaguered Creative shifts promotional efforts from music players to new sound card line – September 21, 2005
Apple debuts iPod nano, iTunes 5: how are Microsoft, Napster, Real, Creative, Sony feeling today? – September 08, 2005
Creative explores new way to beat Apple iPod: patent litigation – August 30, 2005
Creative plans ‘very vigorous defense’ of iPod navigation patent – August 31, 2005
Beleaguered Creative Technology’s ‘war’ on Apple iPod not faring well – August 15, 2005
Apple’s iPod shine dims beleaguered Creative Technology’s outlook – August 08, 2005
Microsoft not buying stake in Creative Technology – August 02, 2005
Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo adds fronts to war against Apple iPod – August 01, 2005
Analyst: Microsoft could buy Creative Technlogy in bid to compete with Apple iPod – July 14, 2005
Beleaguered Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo ‘optimistic’ the company will survive ‘MP3 war’ – July 01, 2005
Beleaguered Creative may have to write off unsold stock as losses loom – June 28, 2005
Creative Tech’s reduced outlook drags on Apple, PortalPlayer, SigmaTel – June 27, 2005
Creative Tech cuts sales outlook, drags Apple down in early trading – June 27, 2005
Apple passed 20 million iPods sold milestone in early June – June 24, 2005
Apple’s understanding of what really counts makes iPod+iTunes impossible to beat – June 22, 2005
Creative Technology shares slide to lowest mark in almost two years – May 18, 2005
Apple squeezes and Creative’s profit plunges 72-percent – April 23, 2005
Apple iPod pressure forces Creative to drop prices on music players – March 01, 2005
Creative’s self-declared ‘MP3 player war’ against Apple isn’t going very well – January 20, 2005
Creative CEO: Apple iPod shuffle ‘a big let-down, worse than the cheapest Chinese player’ – January 12, 2005
Creative declares ‘war’ on Apple iPod, shoots for 40% market share of MP3 players – December 21, 2004
Creative Technology declares ‘MP3 War’ against market-dominating Apple iPod – November 17, 2004
Mossberg: Dell, Rio, Creative ‘iPod mini killers’ lag badly behind Apple iPod mini – October 27, 2004
Creative pushes to become ‘Pepsi’ to Apple’s ‘Coke’ in digital music player market – August 07, 2004


  1. SIMply WrONG booHOO. Creativeless has been working on this cheap knockoff for a year. Huh…….when did the color iPod come out again?? My 3G is close to 3 years old now…..and I think it is slimmer than this piece of crap……

  2. Its copying if I have ever seen it before. How can you say its not copying!? Look at the design of the thing. Get original Creative. Face it the iPod kicks your arse and always will.

  3. wanna see a kid cry on christmas day. Give them this piece of crap. Then when their friends and cousins come over later with their shiny new iPods, then they can cry again.

  4. How the blazes dows one navigate through songs and stuff on that thing?
    Where are the Next / previous song buttons?
    What are THOSE ARROWS?!?!?!

  5. They’ve been working on that for over a year so they say it isn’t a rip-off of the current iPod. Maybe so but funnily enough the design for the current iPod is a refinement of the previous iPod – I think they’ve been out for a while.

  6. Which means it was copied from the old iPod (which looked almost the same as the new one and had the same GUI) instead of the new one. Duh!

    Big deal–it has rounded edges like the old iPod. Still a copy.

  7. If these are comparably-sized shots of both devices (and I assume they are), I’ll throw one bone to the Creative device for using the whole screen for the menu, allowing larger text. When you have the screen real estate (especially on a small screen) it is prudent to use it.

    Otherwise, I agree with hammer. I’d hate to be the kid (or his parents) that got the knock-off (and espcially couldn’t use the iTunes music store).

    One aside: I feel like I want a button on the surface of the iPod somewhere to be able to directly turn shuffle on and off without navigating menus. You know, one song gets you into the mood for a particular group and you wanna listen to more for awhile (until you don’t, and then you’d be able to jump right back to shuffle). Anybody else feel that way?

  8. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” /> …but Creative STILL doesn’t have the clickwheel (patent still pending).

    Same as having a desktop computer without a mouse. Would you buy it?

  9. pity the poor kid that unwraps one of these pigs; it will be interesting to see what are the exchange rates for these pigs after the christmas season. it will also be very amusing to see the absolute bitch-slapping that the fat little korean is about to receive at the hands of Local Leader Steve J.

  10. Are done by rocking the “wheel” just like on iPod. You can see the little arrows if you look close. The are gray instead of blue for no reason, of course.

    So basically, it has 6 buttons–one more than the iPod! It must be better.

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